This is not a discussion of the good (yay, crossrealm chat!) and the bad (boo, privacy fail) of Real ID. This is a guide for how to truly opt out of this feature and how to adjust the settings if you do participate in game.
To be clear, everyone who does not have a parentally controlled account has in fact opted into Real ID, due to a security flaw. Addons have access to the name on your account right now. So you need to be very careful about what addons you download -- make sure they are reputable. In order to actually opt out, you need to set up parental controls on your account. This is not an easy task. Previous to the Battle.net merge, you could just go to a page and set them up. Done. Now, you must set up an account as one that is under parental control. Once your account is that of a child's (a several-step process), your settings default to Real ID-disabled. Any Real ID friends you have will no longer be friends. In order to enable it, you need to check the Enable Real ID box.
Setting up parental controls:
- Go to the appropriate battle.net site for your region. (That link should take you there.)
- Push the Create or Manage a Battle.net Account button.
- Log in as normal.
- Click on Parental Controls, which is an option listed under Manage My Games. (And, if you're like me, you'll be sad that you are still not in the beta.)
- Choose the No - Setup Parental Controls button.
- Fill in your info as both the child's account and your own. (Why they make this distinction, I don't know. Parental controls always used to be an option for adults to manage their own game time.)
- You will receive an email. You need to save this email, because the link in there is the only way to get to the parental controls. Otherwise, you have to make Blizzard resend it. Click the link to get into the controls.
- Save Settings and then be told it will take up to 30 minutes to go into effect.